Lanna Thais are the defending champions in the Chiang Mai Senior League having won the last two editions of the CSL which is proving highly competitive and has expanded to five teams for 2017/18. Looking at the scorecard, a heavy defeat by 94 runs to the newly formed All Stars at the David Buck Oval is not the most encouraging of starts.
In fact the opposite is true for a new generation of young Thai players who had been watching the performances older Thai players from the sidelines and finally got their chance to join the Lanna Thais team. as Puy Papworth had managed to round up a squad of ten boys who all somehow squeezed into the red songtaew.
Proudly wearing their new cricket shoes purchased despite a budget of nothing the boys were all sharp in the field, Bor was impressive with the new ball and 15-year-old Leng was outstanding when his turn came as his first wicket in senior cricket was Ismail who had compiled an untroubled fifty before meeting his match.
The All Stars do contain some familiar faces in their team with captain Burhan being bowled by Bor and as Leng returned tremendous figures of 3 for 27, they were struggling to make a decent total. Aqib is a useful cricketer and his 28 proved crucial in taking the score to 156 in 32.3 overs.
If the senior cricketers in the Lanna Thai ranks could play to their potential a close match was on the cards as none of the famous five reached double figures and Jon Scales was run out after hitting the ball straight at the fielder and charging down the wicket expecting his Thai partner to respond.
Min has a mind of his own so he refused the certain sacrifice of his wicket and sensibly stayed at the crease almost until the end of the innings as he made 13 from 41 balls to finish as top scorer for Lanna Thais in a total of 62.
Ismail was man of the match for his 59 and 3 for but Aqib was not far behind with a crucial 28 and 3 for 8. All Stars would be pleased with a convincing victory but of course cricket was the winner as the Thai boys all enjoyed their big day out.